Saturday, March 5, 2016

Boring Words and Old Photos

I was recently lamenting to Micah how I haven't been posting much of substance lately on our blog- he responded that it's because I've been busy living a "substance-tive" life.

And he's right!

For an at-home mom with few scheduled weekly obligations, we stay very busy and are generally pretty happy with how life is shaping up. Here are some examples of some things going on-

Monday morning I always go to a zumba class. I try to go to the gym at least one other morning each week to do some weight machines or the eliptical, but zumba is what I most enjoy. It's super fun and with my background in hiphop dancing from high school and all those years of latin dancing in college, I catch on to routines quickly and know how to put some style into the moves. I'm interested in becoming an instructor some time in the next year- they have one-day certification seminars in Orlando once in a while. I could start out as a substitute at my own gym before eventually having the time and interest to seek an opportunity for a regular class.

On Wednesday morning, we go to a playgroup with ladies from church. With the nice, cooler (read:tolerable) weather, we've been going to the park. In the summer, we'll be meeting at the beach and occasionally at people's pools. When it's rainy, we go to the mall, where they have a little indoor play area. Natalie is a bit frustrating at these playgroups. There are always many, many kids she knows but she doesn't want to play with them- she wants to play with me. If I refuse and tell her to go play with friends, she mopes around by herself and quickly starts begging to go home. Just the other night, we were invited to dinner with 2 other families, and with 5 kids under the age of 7, she spent much of the night just wanting to drag me away from the adults to come check out the toys with her. Angela is a bit more independent. When we go to the park, she is off by herself with little prodding usually. My greatest challenge is keeping track of her as she plays all over the equiptment.  When she comes up against something she can't do, she gets very mad.

Joy School on Thursdays has been super fun for Natalie- all of the other mothers comment on how well she does with art projects. She always finishes her crafts well and is very focused, whereas many of the other kids have to be dragged through it. She loves doing crafts at home, too- she spent hours and hours making valentines day cards last month and asks almost daily if we can paint. Also, she seems to sit and listen with better attention than other kids at joy school when it's time for instruction- probably since she's already had a year of primary and so she's had some experience with classroom etiquitte. Most of the other kids, though in the same school year as her, have just moved up to primary from nursery last month. I just signed her up to start preschool in the fall. She'll be going a few hours in the morning 4 days a week to a baptist church program. I really don't care about academic preparation, I think she'll be fine going into kindergarten. I'm just hoping for her to develop better independance and learn to play with other kids.

Micah's every-other-friday-off schedule is great. Harris changed their vacation policy this year. Employees used to have 3 weeks vacation per year to start with, but now their vacation is "unlimited". Micah expresses that everyone is now afraid to take vacation days, worrying that it will reflect badly on them professionally. With every other weekend a three-day weekend from work anyway, working out vacation doesn't seem like it will be that hard. With one of my brothers getting married in Denver this april and another graduating in North carolina the following weekend, we've worked out the trips so that Micah will only need to take one day off of work. Micah really wants a real vacation. The problem is, it is impossible to really rest and relax with small children. Being at home with them (like we spent a week and a half over Christmastime) is no less work than going to work. And traveling with them- Yikes. The opposite of relaxing.

Our relief society just reorganized- I was serving as the secretary, but now I'm the second counselor. It's kind of daunting because now I actually have to interact with people. I'm just waiting for some poor sister to go inactive because I say something insensitive. I'm not the soft, touchy-feeling, compassionate type. But I can get stuff done, and being over activities will be a piece of cake compared to all my secretary duties.

Our yard continues to develop- I have planted 2 blueberry bushes, a banana tree, a mango tree and a pomegranate tree and some blue mophead hydrangeas. I'm trying to start roots on a plumeria shoot (the lei flower tree). Just moved some seedlings out to my cinderblock raised bed. I've been doing some spring trimming and Micah taught me how to use the lawnmower today so I can pitch in and take turns with that. The chickens are now outside and are pretty much independent- I leave the door between their coop and run open and they come out to scratch around during the day and then retreat to their coop at night. I pretty much just have to make sure they have food and water. They have started picking on one of the hens- plucking her feathers out so that she now has a big bald spot at the base of her tail. Poor girl! Problems can arise when they're too confined, so we just got some chicken wire to set up a little contained yard for them to venture out into during the daytime. Hopefully they'll get some energy out scratching and pecking around a larger area, they won't keep bullying. Eventually we'll let them have range of all or much of the yard in the evening I think, but first we need to seal our fence better so that they can't get out underneath and go check out the neighbor's field. Raccoons are a big problem- they dig around the sides of the coop and run quite frequently. I don't worry that much about one actually getting the chickens, it's just a little unnerving. Micah dug wire mesh a foot down vertically and put some pavers jutting out horizontally about 6'' under the soil, so, as he says, "If a raccoon manages to get in there- it deserves those chickens."

My camera recently died for good. Probably from Natalie messing roughly with it as I am yelling at her not to touch it for the one zillionth time. I got out the nicer dslr camera to use, and less than an hour later, she had pulled it down off the counter and dropped my $500 camera on the tile floor, so Ive put it back away. Ay, ay, ay. It would be an understatement to say that she simply doesn't listen to me. She is defiantly determined to undermine my every rule.

Anyway, here are some pictures that I grabbed from my sisters' phone when they visited a couple of weeks ago...

Hiking sticks!

We ventured out into the wilderness to try and spot some gators. I think we saw a few turtles.

My sisters family and my mom joined us for our first disneyworld adventure. Angela and Adam (one and a half and two and a half) were determined to climb down every last step of the swiss family robinson treehouse by themselves. They held up quite a line!
The jungle cruise- our skipper was decently funny. His jokes were real knee-slappers- as this photo documents me, hand raised, poised to slap my knee in amusement.

ahhhhh, the most TRULY magical part of the day :)

First time to pass this place at the lagoon and NOT see dolphins! How embarrassing to let my guests down....

At least we got to enjoy this lovely little restaurant beachside!

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